LED lights to brighten up Otorohanga

RACHEL THOMAS
Last updated 12:25 19/08/2014

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LED lighting may soon be brightening up the main streets of Otorohanga and Kawhia, following a report to council.

Ratepayers could save $30,000 a year if it upgraded the 432 bulbs in its network to LED, roading manager Martin Gould told Otorohanga District Council this morning.

Councillors Robyn Klos and Robert Prescott moved the recommendation, that approval be granted to proceed with upgrading of the district street light and amenity lighting LED lanterns. 

A report presented by Gould said lifetime costs for LED lighting  would be $300,000 and savings of $29,000 a year should be seen between years two and 28. 

By the sixth year, the lights will begin saving the community money, Gould said.

"Everything is better, and cheaper - the magic words."

Gould proposed to apply for funding in the next financial year for $300,000 to change the 432 lights in the Otorohanga District network to LED bulbs.

In addition, council manages 129 lights on behalf of the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The current system, Gould said, presently costs council and ratepayers $124,200 each year, or four per cent of the roading and maintenance budget for the 2014/15 financial year.

Gould described the move as a "perennial no-brainer to change," citing a significant improvement in the quality and brightness of LED lighting and less maintenance needs.

Otorohanga had chosen to observe some of the bigger players in the country, including Auckland Transport as they "find out the truth themselves", Gould said.

"They have come to the conclusion its a really good idea to go to LED, so we have accepted their statements."

The bulk of the current, high pressure sodium light units are expected to be due for replacement in 25 to 32 years time,with the estimated replacement cost $276,000.

Gould added lights can be dimmed at night to save further saved on energy.

Councillor Klos raised the issue of dimly lit urban areas.

"Rather than rubbing our hands about the saving I would like there to be considered an extension of lighting in the rural area... I think there's potential for lighting at significant intersections including the bypass through to Taupo.

 "I think Otorohanga should do the right thing by its rural ratepayers too."

Gould said the budget allowed for a upgrades in urban areas in Kawhia and Otorohanga, but "at the same time the NZTA is pushing us to look at that rural network".

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- Waikato Times

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